HL Deb 30 April 1996 vol 571 c139WA
Lord McNair

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why, in view of the fact that comfrey tablets and capsules undergo no concentrating process but are simply the plant's dried root and leaf, mixed with inert excipients, they have ordered the withdrawal of these products from sale instead of treating them as whole foods whose ingredients should not be assessed in isolation.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)

The data considered by the Government's independent expert advisory committee, the Committee on Toxicity of Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, indicated that the toxic substances known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids were found in high concentrations in tablets and capsules made from comfrey. The whole food approach was not therefore considered appropriate.